Contemporary Music

Discover your sound – Are you passionate about creating music? Were you destined to storm the stage with your voice, guitar, bass, keys, drums or laptop? Are you producing electronic music in your bedroom that the whole world needs to hear?

Whether you want to be front and centre as a performer or behind the scenes producing and writing songs, the Bachelor of Music Studies (Contemporary Music Practice) is designed for students interested in a career in the music industry – and there is no requirement for you to have formally studied music before.

About the course

This course gives you access to a diverse range of music industry practitioners who will help you expand and grow your talent to its full potential. Our teachers will guide you as you produce your own exciting and original music.

You will experience contemporary music production, work with industry professionals, learn from music historians, and rub shoulders with some of the country’s best student musicians. This course also gives you the opportunity to discover inventive approaches to writing and performing music, all while learning to study, interpret, and perform the music of others in innovative and new ways.

Where are the classes taught?

Because we want you to experience the best of both worlds, classes for the Bachelor of Music Studies take place at both the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and the main campus of the University of Sydney. Here you will mix with a wide range of musicians, composers, performers, musicologists and other industry specialists, while being given the chance to collaborate with students across a wide range of musical genres.

We support your classes with the best facilities available, including sound technologies, professional recording studios and breathtaking concert halls.

The Bachelor of Music Studies is your first step to becoming a national and international music pioneer.

Audition Requirements

Applicants must submit audition material including 8-10 minutes maximum of original work; song(s) or composition(s) in any genre that demonstrates a high level of creative potential and technical ability that shows an understanding of your chosen style(s).

Format: all audio/video material must be submitted online in digital format in mp4 video or mp3 audio or via links to content on Youtube, Soundcloud or other easily accessible platforms. Optional materials may include websites, beat/loops samples, and DJ mixes.

Only applicants who have been assessed favourably at the pre-screening stage will be invited for an interview.

Pre-screening round materials are due by 16 October with final round interview notification by 2 November.

All submissions are online.

Study Options

Contemporary Music Staff

  • Associate Professor Charles Fairchild – Popular Music; Program Leader of Bachelor of Arts (Music Major)
  • Dr Clint Bracknell – Senior Lecturer in Ethnomusicology and Contemporary Music, Coordinator of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Curriculum
  • Dr Jade O’Regan – Scholarly Teaching Fellow in Contemporary Music
  • Dr Damian Barbeler – Casual Lecturer in Digital Music
  • Mr Paul Mac – Casual Lecturer in Contemporary Music
  • Ms Rainbow Chan – Casual Lecturer in Contemporary Music

Bachelor of Music (Contemporary Music Practice) – typical course progression


Units of study Sem CP
Year 1
Contemporary Music Practice 1 6
Music Skills 1 6
Music Technology 1 6
This is Music 1 6
Contemporary Music Practice 2 6
Music Skills 2 6
New Music, New Thinking 2 6
Sounds, Screens, Speakers: Music & Media 2 6
Total credit points for the year   48
Year 2
Contemporary Music Practice 3 1 6
Music Skills 1 6
Contemporary Music Studies 1 6
Elective 1 6
Contemporary Music Practice 4 2 6
Analysis, History and Culture Studies Elective 2 6
Contemporary Music Studies 2 6
Elective 2 6
Total credit points for the year   48
Year 3
Contemporary Music Practice 5 1 6
Contemporary Music Studies 1 6
Elective 1 12
Contemporary Music Practice 6 2 6
Contemporary Music Studies 2 6
Elective 2 12
Total credit points for the year   48
Year 4
Project 1A 1 12
Project related elective 1 6
Elective 1 6
Project 2A 2 12
Project related elective 2 6
Elective 2 6
Total credit points for the year   48

Sem – semester, CP – credit points